Yellow-legged gull (Larus cachinnans)

The yellow-legged gull is a large, particularly long-lived species living from 10 to 15 years and typically lives and nests in coastal environments. The species is omnivorous and produces one single batch of 2-3 eggs a year. The nest, made of dry plant material (sprigs, dry twigs, etc.), is very simple and is built directly on to the underlying surface (rocks and artefacts).

This species began to colonise Italian coastal cities at the beginning of the 70’s, thus starting a growing phenomenon of urbanisation. The main reason for this move is the massive presence of food waste and especially dumps where particularly adaptable animals find abundant food. Quiet rooftops and terraces are, furthermore, an ideal place to build nests, away from predators and especially from crowds of bathers (there are now few stretches of coastline free from human activity).

Problems arising from the presence of the species in urban and domestic environments are mainly related to the annoyance due to the noise made by the species (especially at night and at dawn) and the debris that can accumulate at the roosting and nesting sites.

As for attacks, these are almost entirely related to protecting nests and / or the chicks in the nest and are almost always accompanied by provocation by man or other animals.

Restricting the species in domestic environments may be indirect, i.e. based on environmental changes to make it unsuitable for use by the species.

In Italy the species is protected under Law 157/1992 and any direct action against the bird and /or its eggs is forbidden.